Panegiryk à rebours. Hugona Kołłątaja mentalna topografia Moskwy z 1807 / 1808 roku
mailto:?subject=I recommend a publication at CeON Repository&body=I recommend a publication “Panegiryk à rebours. Hugona Kołłątaja mentalna topografia Moskwy z 1807 / 1808 roku” available at CeON Repository [http://doi.org/10.18318/napis.2019.1.17https://depot.ceon.pl/handle/123456789/19496]. Recommend
Due to the movement of the Napoleonic army towards Russia, Hugo Kołłątaj was removed from public life from January 1807 to May 1808. He spent that time in exile in Moscow, where he could prepare various notes and exchange letters. One effect of his literary activities was, among other things, the unfinished “Opisanie miasta Moskwy” [“An Outlining of the City of Moscow”]. Due to the poorly legible, draft form of the text, it remained as a manuscript for many years. It was only made available in print in 1954 by Stefan Białas, in the “Kwartalnik Instytutu Polsko-Radzieckiego” [“The Polish-Soviet Institute Quarterly”]. Written in ‘Sterne’s style’, it can be characterised by a variety of discursive forms. There are digressions, inversions, witty repartees, sometimes tedious ponderings, anecdotes, as well as autothematic and autobiographical threads, all contributing to the creation of a spiritual and intellectual portrait of their author. In “Opisanie miasta Moskwy“, Kołłątaj paints an image of Moscow that is self-contradictory, inconsistent and unfavourable to Alexander I’s enlightened empire: with a backward, superstitious people manipulated by the priests, uneducated and corrupted clergy, and with a lack of zest and creativity in every possible expression of culture. This is why the text is something of an à rebours laudatio, which accumulates all of the Deputy Chancellor priest’s previously manifested prejudices towards Russians. The article highlights the criticism to which Kołłątaj subjected the syncretism and architectural disarray of the Kremlin and Kitay-gorod’s buildings and spatial planning, as well as a progressive (for the early 19th Century) praise of the arrangement of green spaces within the city.
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